The Best Teachers

Maria Orlando wrote an article for Faculty Focus a few years ago describing nine characteristics of great teachers.  I thought her list was perfect – I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Here are my picks for the top three characteristics of a great teacher (selected from her list):

  1. A great teacher has his/her own love of learning.  These teachers are passionate about what they teach, and are always on the quest to find new knowledge to share with their learners.
  2. A great teacher can “shift gears”.  We’ve all had classes where the planned activity just isn’t effective for whatever reason.  These instructors recognize this and make spontaneous changes to revive the class.
  3. A great teacher respects students.  Respect goes a long way in the classroom.  I think that in an adult learning environment, respect is crucial, as the learners are coming to class with their own expertise and experiences.  Creating an environment of respect will help students to feel comfortable expressing their feelings and sharing their ideas with their peers.

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